How will Snow leopard affect blender

Hi Guys. I understand that snow leopard is going to help maximize usage of multi cores and ram.

What kind of speed increases do you think we will be getting on blender?
Are we talking a little faster or smashing render times right down?

poke, whenever some new tech comes out that allows us to render 10x faster, a coder gives us a new feature that we really want, that makes our render 10x slower. So… I recon we just keep making cool stuff and not worry about it too much.

… wow, I was expecting someone to come in and say that blender won’tget the benefit until “something or other” is refactored to take advantage (dunno what) …but that will take a long time because everyone’s looking at 2.5 or something…

(I’m not a mac owner or coder… just a cycnic!)

How will Snow leopard affect blender?

“GCD-enabled programs can automatically distribute their work across all available cores, resulting in the best possible performance whether they’re running on a dual-core Mac mini, an 8-core Mac Pro, or anything in between. Once developers start using GCD for their applications, you’ll start noticing significant improvements in performance.”

By the looks of it, not much :slight_smile:

On face value, it looks like a mac-only thing, that you’ll have to build in support for in your application. So unless it’s easily abstracted away for other OSes, it may not be worthwhile using in Blender. It seems like this GCD is mainly to help other apps that aren’t using available cores already. It’s not going to make your machine magically run 100s of times faster - if it’s already maxed out all your cores while rendering, I would assume there’s not too much more that can be done to speed that up. This is ok though, a lot of the things in Blender that need to be multithreaded already are. Besides, in 2.5 there’s a much better new multithreaded jobs system anyway, which is already giving us multithreaded compositing, render previews, etc.

I heard something about OpenCL… would that be like OpenGL?

Hi Broken,

what about openCL ?

Snow Leopard runs blender well!
Owners of White Mac books will be pleased to know that it also solves the blender UI lag that made blender unusable for White Mac book owners! woo!

Since nothing in blender is accerlated by OpenCL it won’t make any difference…

OpenCL has quite large implications for Blender, if we choose to support it. OpenCL only works on quite new graphics cards though, and requires OS and driver support. Luckily all the major manufacturers of graphics cards support the specification, so on the Mac and Linux there is a possibility for quite substantial rendering speed improvements - similar to Nvidia’s CUDA tech, but as an open standard instead.

GCD seems like it’s meant for apps where it’s not obvious how to optimize for multiple cores. Like Microsoft Word for example. It’s not really obvious how you’d make operations parallel. Graphics rendering is fairly well parallelized already by the nature of it. You just need loads of processors to do it.

OpenCL has major implications though as it means you get to use a whole bunch of extra processors you weren’t using before - pretty fast ones at that. It’s not automatic but it seems made for graphics shaders.

You could perhaps have the node tree as a central controller and for real-time previews, the node tree converted into a GLSL shader depending on hardware support detected and user options. At render time, it takes the same node tree and constructs a single kernel or series of OpenCL kernels for execution on an OpenCL compatible GPU. If none exist, the code is executed on the CPU as normal.

You have to carefully assess what you want to be doing on the GPU though and what will actually be beneficial. You don’t want to go crashing people’s display drivers/locking up their screens during a render.

As is most often the case, it’s best to get excited when we see what it can do rather than anticipate what it might do. Snow Leopard is still 3 months away, Windows 7 is 4 months away. We’ll be able to see what the capabilities are then.

The GPU requirements are fairly recent cards but not high end cards so the benefits could be seen by a lot of people.

Blender will have to use these developments eventually because 3rd party rendering engines will use them making the performance difference dramatic, especially for people with higher end GPUs. This means the difference between Blender being feasible for a given project and not.

Opencl looks great but one thing at a time…

Please please please hurry with blender 64-bit on the mac! :slight_smile:

Windows uses could also benifit from OpenCL dispite that Windows itself isn’t accelerated by it, as long as you a GPU, drivers and of course software that support OpenCL. A really hope that Blender jumps on the GPGPU train soon because there are alot benifits that could be drawn from it.

If you are correct on that, there are going to be a LOT of happy people out there!
More specifically it is the MacBooks with Intel GMA integrated graphics processors that were affected by that Leopard bug. This includes the black ones too (which I have). It does not include the current white MacBooks, as these now use an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M.
Anyway, I hope you’re right because I’m tired of running Blender through a Linux VM.
I guess we’ll find out tomorrow!

Snow Leopard runs blender well!
Owners of White Mac books will be pleased to know that it also solves the blender UI lag that made blender unusable for White Mac book owners! woo!

Can anyone confirm? I’ve got one of the aforementioned white macbooks, and like Quantum Anomaly I’d love to stop running blender through a VM. This would make a lot of people happy.

Ok tested curent Snow Leopard.
Current 2.49 works great (only some mirror problems with flickering window borders in some situation)
2.5. is without problem…

At the moment im able to compile Blender in Snow Leopard only with cmake (and xcode project files). It works with GCC 4.2. and with LLWM 4.2 (with new compiler Clang blender shuts down after start in my test). With Scons are some problems with building (even with older SDK it has problems still investigating whats wrong probably some problems with linking agains older sdk).

So what we need for better performance and stability and support 64-bit for snow leopard is replace carbon stuff with cocoa…

I’ve installed snow leopard and can now confirm it fixes the issue on the white macbooks with intel graphics. Now I don’t have to run blender in a VM!

$30 was so worth it, but I feel it went to the wrong people (Apple who’s fault the bug was in the first place). I’ll be sure to make a similar donation to the BlenderFoundation… It’ll be so nice to run natively again!